The Food After War

Beer. Good burgers. Good fries. What more could you want? Seriously.

In the last few weeks, I have become a frequent at Postbellum  . Especially with the warm weather coming, their rooftop bar may begin to be one of my favorite spots to enjoy the spring in Richmond. I came to this restaurant for my 21st birthday and purchased my first legal beer here. I guess you could say, there are some memories.

The interior is rustic, dark and very grey. I love grey so I am unopposed to this motif. The decoration is very eclectic and sort of hipster you could say. There is a fake moose head hanging on the wall and antlers hanging from another.

Aside from the memories, their food makes me happy too.

You all know I am quite the burger queen. I love burgers. Much to my surprise, I found that the Cabot burger was one of the best in Richmond. It is tender and delicious with the right amount of flavor and toppings, even bacon. Possibly a little too much bun for my liking but everything else makes up for it. I cannot tell you how excited I was when I had my first bite of their burger. It was just too good.

IMG_9480

Another reason I like it here: they actually call fries frites. Side note, if you see this on a restaurant’s menu, that’s a darn good distinction that the fries are wonderful. They serve their frites with an assortment of sauces per request – very Belgian. They are not doubled fried, the Belgian way, but they are still fried to perfection.

IMG_9481

Being a fan of frites, I also decided to try their poutine. It was not the frites underneath as I had expected but fingerling potatoes cut in half and roasted. Topped with mushrooms, peas, and the standard cheese curd gravy that makes a poutine a poutine. It was glorious. The flavors in the poutine are so full of gusto. The leftover gravy makes a great dip for your frites too.

IMG_9553

Not to mention, their amazing draft beer selection. With more than a few craft beers sprinkled in there too, of course.

With all their frites and beer, this place makes for a happy Belgian. Well anyone really. And let’s not forget about the rooftop bar!

PS. Postbellum means after war in Latin.

Gotta Get That Vap

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


I may have my favorites in RVA. But y’all finally get to hear about one of my other favorites, which happens to be around the world. I’m serious. It’s all over the world. From Australia to Alaska. Its name is Vapiano. I have been going there with my family for almost ten years, mostly the DC locations. Even when I was abroad and we found one, we would go there just because we knew it would be good.

Vapiano is a German-based Italian restaurant. The way in which you order is partly why I like it so much. When I was younger, I equated it to the Subway for pasta. You go up to the glass counter. From their 10 pasta offerings and 15 sauces, you choose one of each. They then make it right in front of you. The pasta is even cooked in this deep fried contraption, but with water, in order for it to be cooked in minutes. The sauce in cooked on a wok shaped stove top with a huge wok pan. It was quite the experience.

They use the freshest of ingredients. They even have potted herbs at your table there for your enjoyment and use. The pasta is made in house. This freshness and house made pasta taste comes in every bite. They also have amazing pizza and salads.

I have had my favorites over the years and although one of my favorites is no longer on the menu, you can still order it. Thank goodness.

IMG_7648

Whenever I go with friends, we each order something and share the dishes. This time around we went for the Salami e Ricotta con Rucola and Pomodoro e Mozzarella. The pomodoro dish was already one of my favorites, but after this trip, the salami one is as well. This dish is made with salami, pine nuts, ricotta cheese and white wine. The mass of the wine flavor cooks out during the process but the undertone is still there. The pasta is so fresh and perfectly al dente.

Out of all the times I have been to this restaurant, there has been only once I was disappointed by their food. It was mainly because my company ruined the experience and complained the whole time. They shall remain nameless. Just the same, all the ingredients and flavors are always so fresh. From the pasta to the garlic, tomatoes used in the dishes, and the sauce on the pizza, everything is wonderful.

IMG_7651

They also love to give out lots of free freshly baked bread. Yum, carbs.

Check their website out if you are abroad, especially in Vienna, Austria, or in DC, you may be right near one. You won’t want to miss this one.

“According to an Italian proverb, ‘If you have an easy-going and relaxed approach to life, you’ll live more healthily and longer.”’

Trust Me Sushi

The post is dedicated to my little brother, Warren. His 21st birthday was yesterday, as well. This is by far his favorite restaurant in Roanoke, probably anywhere really. I was debating writing about it and he insisted that I must. So I am 🙂

I sound reluctant to be speaking of this place. But in all honesty, it does deserve some very high praise.

This restaurant has the feel of what I imagine a real sushi place in Japan would have. Very light color scheme, very pastel and minimalist decor. The decor that is there is simply different wonderfully painted and decorated Japanese sushi plates. Not to mention, everything is bamboo. Bamboo floors, bamboo chairs, bamboo tables.

Ben Qui is the name of the man who owns this restaurant. More likely than not, you can find him behind the sushi bar delivering his passion to you. And he has it right. His sushi is some of the best sushi in Roanoke for sure, possibly even the state. It is always chilled with the most premium ingredients.

This time I sprung for the Unagi roll and added a bit of avocado. Unagi is eel, for anyone who didn’t know. To be quite honest, I think I found out from an episode of Friends. The one with the Unagi. Anywho, again, his sushi never ceases to amaze me.

IMG_7867

The real note worthy dish that this restaurant serves is their fried rice, believe it or not. It is honest to God, the best fried rice you can get in a restaurant, that I have ever tried at least. And I would like to think I’ve tried a lot. It’s not any of that yellow fried rice. I mean really, Chinese restaurants, what is this stuff? Call it weird rice, not fried, because that’s what it is.

IMG_7857

The rice is mixed with perfectly sized vegetables and chunks of chicken, sometimes a few shrimp. The flavors of the fried rice is really what makes it so good. They add just the right amount of soy sauce for a normal person. Me, I need more because well, I am not so normal. My palette is not sensitive enough for me to distinguish the flavors of the fried rice but whatever they do to it, they are doing a wonderful job.

IMG_7861

Ben Qui Sushi’s tag line is “trust me.” Ben has his “trust me” rolls and such. But with him, you really can. He will fix you right up with awesome food every time.

Happy birthday, Warren!

A Twist on Tradition

After an event at the Virginia Center for Architecture, my mother and I were in a need of a quick bite. We decided upon a wonderful place just a block from her office. Not only was the place close, but we had both heard wonderful things about this new restaurant in town.

The rumors were true.

The restaurant used to be an Italian restaurant with a dark and romantic vibe. The new Betty on Davis boosts bright yellow walls and rustic accents. From the moment you walk in the door, you know its a Southern neighborhood spot, simply by decoration. An amazing quote from Bette Davis is adorned on the walls, only proving the neighborhood family feel even more.

Luray, the owner of the restaurant, was our waitress. She was absolutely delightful. Sweet and kind, with southern hospitality. Me, being the entrepreneur and hopeful restaurant owner myself one day, could not help to ask her all about her inspiration for the place, some of the process, among other things. Luray was pleased to answer all my ridiculous questions, with a smile on her face.

Where to begin on the food. My mother and I have a routine when we go out to eat to share a salad and some sort of entree to not only help the wallet, but our waistlines. I rarely rant about a salad. But the mixed green salad, which had goat cheese, strawberries and toasted almonds on top, was absolutely amazing. The lemon rosemary vinaigrette tasted so fresh and had the right amount of citrus kick. Not to mention, this salad was huge. It would’ve been hard to finish alone.

IMG_8429

This burger. Luray described it as one a lot like the ones at Five Guys. She was not exaggerating. I wanna know how she makes her burgers, it was so good. Thin patties, robust with flavor and dripping of juiciness. Cheese perfectly melted on top. Definitely my kind of burger. The toppings left much to be desired but the focus of the restaurant is also not the burger. Unlike some of its RVA counterparts, this burger was a whopping $7.75. Such a deal.

IMG_8431

I really could not tell you where I have gotten this sort of experience here in Richmond, other than maybe, Casa del Barco. Side note, still have not met the owner there. Like Casa, the Betty on Davis is also a from-scratch kitchen, meaning nothing is frozen and always made in house. You can taste this aspect in both of their dishes. Ironically, the restaurants with known to me from-scratch kitchens are also the ones with stupendous service.

Go ahead, get in your car and drive over to enjoy a meal at this place. Save yourself the trouble of waiting till all your friends are talking about it because I have a very good feeling they will be soon. You might even get the pleasure of being served by Luray.

IMG_8434